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COVID-19 cases outside China reach 10,566

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of China has reached 10,566 across 72 countries with 166 deaths, statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed Wednesday.

As of 0900 GMT Monday, a total of 90,870 cases were reported globally, with 3,112 deceased.

In the past 24 hours, 1,792 newly confirmed cases have been reported outside of China. Eight new countries — Andorra, Jordan, Latvia, Morocco, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and Tunisia — have reported COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 is continuing to spread worldwide, especially in South Korea, Japan and Iran.

South Korea, the world’s hardest-hit country outside China, confirmed 293 more cases of the COVID-19 on Wednesday, raising the total number of infections to 5,621. Two more deaths were reported, lifting the death toll to 33.

Daegu, a metropolis with a 2.5 million population about 300 km southeast of Seoul, became the epicenter of the viral spread as it accounted for almost 90 percent of the total.

The Daegu cluster was closely linked to the church services of a homegrown minor religious sect, called Sincheonji, in Daegu.

Lee Man-hee, the leader of the Shincheonji religious sect in South Korea, made a public apology on Monday, after they were accused of not doing enough to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The number of coronavirus cases in Japan topped 1,000, with over 700 of them stemming from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in the port city of Yokohama.

The country’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga Wednesday said that the country is still preparing to hold the Tokyo Summer Olympics which will take place from July 24 to August 9 this year.

By noon on March 3, the cumulative confirmed cases in Iran was 2,336, with 435 cases recovered and 77 deaths. Twenty-three Iranian lawmakers have been infected with the disease. The head of the country’s emergency medical services has also been infected. Local media reports say he’s in a stable condition.

A majority of EU countries have also reported cases of the novel coronavirus infections, with the total number of confirmed cases standing at around 3,000 on Tuesday, according to the World Health Organization.

Italy’s health authorities said on Tuesday, over 400 new confirmed cases were reported within the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 2,502, with a total of 79 deaths, among which 27 were reported on Tuesday alone.

On the same day, France had a total of 212 confirmed positive cases, with four deaths. Tourism, a pillar of the French economy, has suffered heavily.

The Louvre Museum was shut down on March 1 due to the spreading of the epidemic. It was reopened on Wednesday noon, according to local media. Major events including the Paris Marathon and the Paris Book Fair, one of the World’s largest, have also been canceled. The French Finance Minister Bruno Lemaire said that could lead to a 30 to 40 percent decrease in tourism to the country.

Considering the impact on the global economy, the World Bank Group announced Tuesday that it is making available an initial package of up to 12 billion U.S. dollars in immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed), in a surprise move, lowered the target range for the federal funds rate by 50 basis points on Tuesday, as the COVID-19 outbreak poses “evolving risks” to economic activity.

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